By Mavis Smethurst

Some time ago my parents, my brother-in-law and myself went to a séance in Manchester. The medium was the well-known Helen Duncan. It was just after the war in the late forties or early fifties. My mother came to me and said "Mavis, I have four tickets to see a materialisation medium". A few days later we went to Manchester, to a room over a Co-Operative society shop.

Although the war was over, there was no street lighting. We traveled there in my mothers' car - and very few people owned a car in the days just after the war. My brother-in law drove us there as he had lived in the Manchester district before coming to Bolton. Somehow we found our way to the Co-operative shop, and only just in time. We went up the stairs to a small room over the shop and met Helen. She was a tall, well-made lady with dark hair and a decided Scottish accent.

Mavis Smethurst

Mavis Smethurst pictured above.

Helen showed us the clothes she would wear, all black both outer and underwear. The reason being, she had been unjustly prosecuted and sent to prison in the 1940's for fraud, so she was anxious to let us see that everything was above board. Soon after, we were seated and the meeting began. The night before, I had seen, clairvoyantly, my spirit helper Jack, smiling at me, and by his side stood a lovely young lady saying "Isn't this wonderful, isn't this wonderful." I did not understand the message until I saw them both appear at the materialization. I was amazed!

They were exactly as I had seen them clairvoyantly. My father who was sitting at the side of me called out "Hello Jack" and Jack said "Hello Bill." I had no idea they knew one another, but Jack said "I have come to the young lady by your side" meaning me "and you have come from Bolton in a car". The lovely young lady I had seen the night before also appeared and she was saying "Isn't this wonderful, isn't this Wonderful", just as she had when she had appeared to me the night before. 

The séance was conducted in a good red light. The entities appeared just as if they were still in the flesh. The clothes they wore were quite normal and in good colours. There were ten sitters and we all sat in a row about six feet from where the spirit forms built up. There was nothing in front of us so we all had a very good view. After the spirit entities had finished speaking to their loved ones I was astonished to see them collapse on the floor and quickly disappear.

It was a long time ago and of the four of us who went to see the Helen Duncan séance, I am the only one still alive. The other three passed away many years ago, and now when I read so much about Helen I feel that I should relate what I had experienced all those years ago. I was young then and most of the people who saw Helen were middle aged and will have passed to Spirit but as I am still here, I feel it is up to me to say so in defense of Helen Duncan. As a medium I have no need of proof that the spirit world exists, but I feel that I was meant to go to the séance to bear witness to Helen Duncans superb mediumship.